Fork Bushes

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How to Adjust or Replace Fork Bushes

The Rewaco Springer fork was designed many years ago in Germany especially for the Rewaco HS1 and has been used for each subsequent model and is still in use today. This design works very well for Trikes with less than 80kg on the steering head.

This design has proven over the years now that it is very strong and I know of somebody who has done more than 200 wheel-stands and all measurements have stayed the same over more than 3 Years.

In Germany there would be more than 4000 Trikes on the road with this fork, in Australia close to 250. The fork is made of stainless steel tube and the blocks and other parts are also stainless steel which is a smart way to go as it means it lasts forever.

The only wearing parts on the fork are the fork bushes and the 4 axles. My Cornermaster 1 has done close to 200,000km and the axles are still ok. But the bushes do need replacing from time to time depending on riding conditions and the right adjustment. In the factory the forks get fitted with plastic bushes which I found wear out between 25,000 km and 50,000 km. I replaced my bushes with brass bushes and they should not wear out for many years to come. I get those bushes made in lots of 100 to get the right price. Please contact me if you need new bushes.

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Does the Fork Need Adjusting?

To keep things moving the way they should your forks need adjusting or at least good a look over every 5000km.

The fork has 8 pivot points, 4 on the top part of the fork and 4 on the lower part.

4 axles have 2 bushes each which means there is 8 points of adjustment.  (Check out the diagram at the top of this page.)

You will find 8 dome nuts holding 8 flat nuts in place so the adjustment doesn’t change while riding.

To do this right you need two 19mm spanners. I made an open end spanner thinner to get between the dome-nuts and the fork blocks which makes the job a lot easier.

You will know that your fork needs adjusting if there is too much free-play while you move your steering from right to left, if the fork doesn’t spring up and down anymore than the adjustment is to tight.

Before you adjust your fork make sure the bushes are ok. To see the washer part of the bush you have to remove two dome nuts, the two flat nuts and one of the blocks. If they look ok all you need to do is to adjust the fork. If the washers are worn or broken its time to replace the bushes.

Most of the time you will only need to adjust the fork, so we will look at that first.

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Adjusting the Fork

Refit the 8 flat nuts to a point where there is no free-play left and the fork is tight. Then undo the nuts maybe 1/8 of a turn, which should free up the blocks and make the fork work again. Once you have done all 8 points and you are happy with the way the fork works, it's time to put the dome-nuts back in place which in turn, hold the flat nuts in place.

I put lock-tight on my dome nuts which might not be necessary but makes me feel better when I play on winding roads. 

Remove5.jpg (54448 bytes) Hold the flat-nuts in position with your open end spanner while you tighten up the dome nuts. After you have done all 8 you can check the way the fork works up and down. If the fork doesn’t move freely, you need to loosen the flat nuts a touch until it feels right.

It all sounds like a big job but it only takes a few minutes after you have done it a few times. It does pay to look after your fork and the Trike rides and handles much better with a well adjusted front end.

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How to Replace the Fork Bushes

There are two ways of doing this. You can pull all the blocks off and replace all 8 bushes in one hit or do what I prefer to do and replace two bushes at the time, which means one block per side each time.

That’s what I describe here.

First take all 8 dome-nuts off and loosen the flat nuts off a bit. Take the two nuts off on the right or left top block and without damaging the thread use a small plastic tip hammer and push the axles through to the other  side. Remove4.jpg (62409 bytes)
Remove2.jpg (61661 bytes) Use a little brass punch to hammer die axles in about 25mm deep so you can get to the end of the bush. I use a flat screw driver to get behind the old bush (plastic ones only) and force them out of the  seat.

After you have done two you will work out the best way to do it. Make sure there are no bits of the old bush left before you install the new ones.

Now hammer the axles back from the other side until they are back in the original position, I find that makes it easier to get the new bushes in. Before you put the brass bushes in make sure there is a bit of grease on the bushes and inside the hole to keep things moving freely and keep the dust out as much as possible.

After you have done one side or one block do the same to the other side of the fork.

Once you have done the top 4 bushes, you do exactly the same with the lower part of your fork. 

If you have finished all 8 bushes all you need to do is adjust your fork as described in the first part of this story and you are ready to go back in the twisty’s.

As with all repair and service jobs described here in our work shop manual, make sure you feel confident to do this job or just leave it to the professionals. The brass bushes can be purchased here and you can take them with you to any good mechanical work shop in your area. 

Servicing your Trike regularly and keeping it in top nick will make it safer on the road. It's more enjoyable to ride and your trike will be less likely to give you unwanted surprises in the middle of nowhere. It will keep the re-sale value of your Trike up where it should be and makes every ride a fun experience.

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